Friday, April 5, 2013

Day Five ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2013


Today we reach a handful of days. Or, I guess, a full hand. A poker hand (in draw poker, that is). Fifth day. Friday. "Wave my freak flag high." Fork, yeah! Put in any f word you want. Freedom, yeah. Fee fie foe fum, yeah. Fibonacci, yeah.   ;-)

For those who might be new to the whole April/Poem thing, check this month's 1st post. I've been following prompts from Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo site and Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog.

Maureen's suggestion, since it's Day 5, is a cinquain, essentially a poem with 5 lines. Adelaide Crapsey's invention, the American cinquain, has a set number of syllables in each line: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 (a total of 20 syllables). Here's a sample I just wrote.
2   When I
4   am not sure what
6   to write, I go outside
8   with trusty sleeping bag to sleep
2   and dream.
Today Robert's prompt is "a plus poem." That reminds me of a fun poetic form that uses the "plus," recently invented by Gregory K. Pincus: the fib, based on the Fibonacci sequence. This mathematical pattern starts with 0 and 1 and then each following number is the sum of the previous two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc. The third number is 1 from adding the previous two numbers: 0 plus 1; the fourth number is 3 from 1+2; the fifth is 5 from 2+3; and so on.

The fib's opening line has 1 syllable, then another line with 1 syllable. (It's fascinating that since the Fibonacci sequence begins with 0, the actual "first" line has no syllables, meaning silence.) The fib stops at 6 lines, a last line with 8 syllables (thus a total of 22 syllables). Here's my cinquain from above rearranged into a fib — had to lose 2 syllables and gain 1 line.
0    
1   When
1   I'm
2   not sure
3   what to write,
5   I go outside with
8   my sleeping bag to sleep and dream.
Trying to figure out what to do for today's poem, the image of a hand flashed in my mind. I mention hands in my intro above . . . 5 fingers, 5 days. I also wanted to do both prompts, write a cinquain and a fib. So that's how my poem got going. Started describing a hand and ended up somewhere I didn't know I was going. Here we go.

What a Hand Can Do
for day 5, a fib
and a cinquain

Mark's
right
hand is
pale and slight,
dotted with freckles,
long fingers like a pianist.

Who'd think
he would take up
an axe like that? Blood soaked
his parents' bed. "Such a nice boy,"
they said.

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Okay, that's my freaky poem for Friday. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, okay? Ingat, everyone.   ;-)





P.S.  Remember my abecedarian on April 1st? T. M. Sandrock, a poetry-writing student at the University of Northern Iowa, has invented a new kind of ABC poem: the spiraling abecedarian. A really cool way to do a double abecedarian. Here's Tanner's first one, a truly kickass poem. (That's a technical term, by the way, kickass.)   ;-)

night stand

 
along
backstreet
come
deeply
evening,
filled
girls
hands,
invent
jezebels,
kindness
late
makers
nonchalant,
offering
pilgrimages,
quarters,
roused
Sunday
tables
undressed
visited
wildly
x-rated
years,
zenith
   all
boulevards
children
drinking
every
fire
guys
holding
ideals
jocks
kindled
lead
move
now
out
passionate
quaint
romance
Saturday,
turns
under
vision
while
exposing
young
zealous
 

—Draft by t. m. sandrock    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Isn't that an elegant poem? Look how Tanner employs Wilfred Owen–style consonantal rhyme: kindled/kindness, lead/late. Assonance in fire/guys, now/out. Alliteration in all/along, every/evening, and my favorite, jocks/jezebels.

Give the spiraling abecedarian a try, friends. But remember Tanner Sandrock invented it! Congratulations, Tanner.

Okay, now we're done. Comment below, please? Ingat.



POEM-A-DAY 2013 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

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